John Krasinski On Parenting: ‘No One Really Tells You That It’s Hard’

by Valerie Williams
Image via Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

John Krasinski thinks parents need to tell it like it is

Actor John Krasinksi is one half of an adorable celebrity couple and also, a doting dad of two little girls. In a recent interview, he opens up about all things parenting, particularly, how he wishes more moms and dads spoke the truth about how challenging it is.

And we’re wishing right along with him.

Krasinski, husband to actress Emily Blunt and father to Hazel, 2, and Violet, 6 months, laments on a recent Today show appearance that us parents aren’t honest enough about the troubles we face. “I’m a big fan of being open about the truth and how you really feel, and not putting on a pretty face for everybody. No one really tells you that it’s hard and there are sleepless nights. Kids get sick, kids fall down and get hurt, and all these things are really intense and really emotionally difficult ― and you hurt for them more than you hurt for yourself.”

The sleepless nights we were maybe aware of, though it’s hard to understand exactly how devastating months of consistent sleep deprivation can be, but Krasinski’s on to something with his thoughts on the emotional challenges of being a parent. We don’t talk too openly about that exquisite pain — the pain we feel when our kids are hurt.

And that’s probably because it’s impossible to describe or understand unless you’ve been there.

The actor talks about how hard it is to be prepared. For any of it. “You can read all the books you want ― I certainly thought I was prepared because I had such amazing parents growing up,” Krasinski says. “I just figured, I’ll just do exactly what they did. And then you realize that moment-to- moment, you don’t know what they did because there is no manual. There’s no exact way to go about things.”

There’s something both terrifying and liberating about that realization — that there’s no guidebook and we’re all just feeling our way through it. You can talk to other parents all you like and feel less alone, but their experiences still won’t be exactly like yours. We’re simply doing the best we can, as Krasinski acknowledges. “You’re just trying. There’s no perfection. There’s no school. There’s no defined way to go about it. You’re just learning.”

Throughout all that trying, you might attempt to remember what life was like before kids, as Krasinksi muses, “What did I do with all the time that I had on my hands? I think it’s certainly a full-on job, and something that I enjoy so much, but I really do look back and think, ‘Was I just the dude who ate potato chips and movies all day?’”

What he says rings so true — it’s funny to think there was ever a time where we weren’t totally busy and consumed by the duties and joys of parenthood. But as time goes by, you get in a groove and can’t imagine it any other way.

Krasinski says, “I find myself feeling more and more confident as days go on and you actually start, you just start feeling really proud of yourself in a way that you haven’t before, because you’re actually being responsible for someone and getting through the day and you definitely feel like a more fully formed person — at least I did.”

And hopefully, you do too.